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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD COMMENTS ON DAYS-AT-SEA FEARS

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Commenting on media reports that a summer tie-up is being considered in order to conserve days-at-sea, SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said:

"The problems being experienced by the whitefish fleet and processors sum up why we urgently need an end to the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The SNP has consistently said that decision making needs to be returned to fishing nations, instead of the 'one size fits nobody' approach of the CFP, which is bad for fishermen, bad for conservation and has been a disaster for our coastal towns and villages. The most wasteful aspect of the CFP is that tonnes of good, marketable fish is being thrown back into the sea, instead of landed and sold. We need urgent action to end the scandal of discards by allowing fishermen to land more of what they catch.

"The review of the Common Fisheries Policy is a chance for a radical overhaul. The SNP will continue to press at Westminster and in Brussels for decisions to be delegated to Member States. A regionalised framework would offer greater autonomy for fishing nations to balance their economic and conservation needs, and support coastal communities that depend on the fishing and processing sectors. But we must be wary of those who plan to sell out our historic fishing rights. Both Labour and the Tories have said that access should no longer be based solely on historical catches. Scottish fishing communities have most to lose from moves to abandon this principle of 'relative stability' and we must fight to protect our interests.

"The prospect of a balanced parliament at Westminster with a strong SNP team gives us the best opportunity in a generation to press the case for the Scottish fishing industry. I'm determined to fight for a sustainable and profitable future for the industry."

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